Celebrations marking the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee have kicked off in London and across the UK, with huge crowds lining the streets of the UK capital to get a glimpse of the festivities.
- Thousands of people flocked to London to kick off the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, marking 70 years of her reign
- Protesters interrupt a marching band during the Trooping the Color military parade outside Buckingham Palace
- Police have warned people to stay away from the area with viewing spaces already at capacity
The Queen appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace with other members of the Royal Family as the Royal Air Force conducted a flyover featuring the Red Arrows aerobatic flight team as well as historic military aircraft.
It was her second public appearance of the day – earlier she appeared beaming alongside her cousin the Duke of Kent on the same balcony to greet the crowds.
Dressed in a pale blue outfit that she also wore for her official Jubilee portrait, she used a cane to step out onto the balcony.
Thursday marks not only the start of the Jubilee, but also the 69th anniversary of the coronation of Elizabeth, who became queen on the death of her father George VI in February 1952.
The Platinum Jubilee will feature four days of parties, parades and pomp to pay tribute to the 96-year-old monarch and her 70-year reign on the British throne.
The celebrations began Thursday morning with Trooping the Colour, a military parade performed by members of the British Army that dates back to the 17th century.
Part of the parade was interrupted by several demonstrators, who jumped the crowd barriers and rushed onto the Mall Boulevard in front of Buckingham Palace and lay down in the road in front of a marching band.
The police were quick to take the men away.
By mid-morning, police were forced to warn people to stay away from the event as viewing sites were filling up quickly.
“The central London viewing areas for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations are now full,” the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.
“To avoid the disappointment of not being able to enter the viewing areas, please avoid the area.”
Earlier on Thursday, the Queen thanked those involved in the celebrations to mark her Platinum Jubilee.
“I continue to be inspired by the goodwill that has been shown to me and hope that the next few days will be an opportunity to reflect on all that has been achieved over the past 70 years as we look to the future. future with confidence and enthusiasm.”
The arrival of the first members of the royal family in a horse-drawn carriage – Kate, wife of Prince William, her three young children and Camilla, wife of heir to the throne Prince Charles – was greeted with cheers cheers.
Prince Charles, 73, Prince William, 39, and the Queen’s daughter Princess Anne arrived on horseback.
Charles and William will carry out other ceremonial duties on behalf of the Queen, although great attention will be paid to those who will not be present.
Second son, Prince Andrew, 62, who settled a US lawsuit in February in which he was accused of sexually abusing American Virginia Roberts Giuffre when she was 17, did not attend.
It was revealed later Thursday that Andrew, the Duke of York, will not be attending Friday’s National Thanksgiving Service after testing positive for COVID-19.
The BBC said it was understood the Duke had met the Queen in recent days, but not since he tested positive.
Prince Harry, who now lives in Los Angeles with his wife Meghan, attended the parade but was absent when the royal family gathered on the palace balcony to watch the flyover.
“Our duty is to come and celebrate”
As the planes flew overhead, the crowds cheered loudly and waved Union Jack flags.
Tens of thousands of people gathered in the gardens and streets surrounding the palace to catch a glimpse of the military parade.
Brisbane couple Sheryl and Morris Blanchard extended their vacation to London to attend the Jubilee and described the moment as a “once in a lifetime experience”.
“We just had to come, nobody does the push up and the ceremony like the Brits do,” Ms Blanchard said.
Catching a glimpse of the Duchess of Cambridge and her children was a highlight for Ms Blanchard.
“To see the royal family, especially the beautiful Kate and the children, smile and wave,” she said.
“It was really fantastic.”
Monarchist loyalist Robert Oliphant said it was a “historic and proud moment for all of Britain”.
He traveled with his wife and dog Ruby over 200 miles from Nottingham to attend the event, and was also present for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee 10 years ago.
“It’s unique, we’ll never see anything like it again I believe,” Mr Oliphant said.
Many other fans had traveled for days for the monumental occasion.
Natalie Pettit planned her vacation to Ohio in the United States to be in the UK for the birthday.
“I think just being able to watch and see all the people coming together and flying flags and cheering is a really good feeling.
It was a disappointing day for some spectators who were unable to approach the parade or the palace due to overcrowding.
Many participants had arrived in the early hours of the morning, while hundreds even camped out overnight to get the best vantage point.
The Metropolitan Police have been forced to close off parts of the city due to the masses of people who have come to celebrate.
Instead, hordes of people gathered in Parliament Square near Big Ben to watch military planes fly through the city for the parade finale.
There were gun salutes in London, across Britain and Royal Navy ships at sea.
In the evening, beacons will be lit across the country and the Commonwealth, with the Queen directing the lighting of the main Platinum Jubilee Beacon at her home in Windsor Castle.
French President Emmanuel Macron, Pope Francis and former British prime ministers were among those who sent messages of goodwill.
“I can’t think of any other public figure, any other celebrity, any other president… who could have remained so popular,” former prime minister John Major told BBC radio.
ABC with wires
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